Vancouver students demonstrate against pipelines and environmental degradation

By Charlie Smith
The Georgia Straight

Hundreds of young people gathered on Earth Day in East Vancouver to let their elders know of their concerns about oil tankers, climate change, deforestation, and the unethical treatment of animals.

"I'm here because I really care about the future of our planet," Alice Paul, a student at Sir Winston Churchill secondary, told the Georgia Straight. "It's great to be in an environment where I can celebrate it."

Her friend Elydah Joyce echoed her message, describing the annual Earth Day march to Grandview Park as an important event. "It's definitely something I love to support," Joyce said.

One of the event's organizers, Windermere secondary student Lucas Chan, pointed to a windmill made by students of recycled materials. It was towed in the march by bicycles.

"We're here to show that youth are both aware and concerned about the direction our planet is moving in," Chan told the Straight. "And we want to move towards a more sustainable economy with greener energy and a more sustainable lifestyle."

He added that tankers pose a threat to marine ecosystems, as well as to the land. He predicted that an oil spill would be "inevitable" at some point if pipeline capacity is expanded and more oil is transported across B.C. waters.

His friend Ethan Trinh, also a Windermere student, dismissed the idea that consuming more oil was necessary to power the global economy. He suggested that relying on more fossil fuels can destroy jobs and ecotourism, not to mention thousands of years of human culture and tradition.

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